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Rise and Decline of the Third Reich» Forums » Strategy

Subject: minor countries rss

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david brawley
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Alright I have a question about who can declare on minor countries? Lets say France wants to take Belgium instead of letting Germany get it first, or taking Denmark. The way we have looked at the rules anybody can do it.
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Doug Poskitt
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dabrawley wrote:
Alright I have a question about who can declare on minor countries? Lets say France wants to take Belgium instead of letting Germany get it first, or taking Denmark. The way we have looked at the rules anybody can do it.


Oh boy, have you asked a question that vexes many a Third Reich gamer!

Have you looked through the previous posts here on the BGG forum? You'll see this topic to be the subject of lively discussion and many shades of opinion, not to mention complicated.
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Stephen Rochelle
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Well, for the general case, any major power can declare war on minors. The Western Allies can absolutely seek a preemptive conquest of Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and more.

Primarily, exceptions are Russia and neutral Italy. Additional restrictions rise from the requirement that no DoW may place historical major power allies at war with one another.
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Aside from Russia, and the provision that no DoW is allowed which would put you at war with a major on 'your' side (Axis / Allies) any major can DoW any minor country. So the 'Allies' are not obliged to be the 'good guys', in the sense that they can conquer Belgium et al.

However, there is a provision in 21.4 that requires certain actions against the target of of DoW by the declaring power, otherwise the DoW is revoked. Patrick, and others to some extent, have argued that there is an implied prohibition against making a DoW when you would be unable to fulfill those requirements. That debate comes down to how one interprets 'must do X else the consequence is Y' in the rules.
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fangotango
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According to an article in the General about Third Reich strategy, the British were set to invade Norway in 1940, but the Germans attacked just days before. Historically, while not insanely evil like the Nazis, the Allies weren't really "good" guys. How do you think they ended up with all those colonies? Therefore, I don't think there should be any qualms about France and Britain attacking any minor neutral they want for strategic reasons.
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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fangotango wrote:
According to an article in the General about Third Reich strategy, the British were set to invade Norway in 1940, but the Germans attacked just days before. Historically, while not insanely evil like the Nazis, the Allies weren't really "good" guys. How do you think they ended up with all those colonies? Therefore, I don't think there should be any qualms about France and Britain attacking any minor neutral they want for strategic reasons.


IMHO the bit about Britain being 'about to' invade Norway is rather over done. It was in large part after the fact justification for Germany's outright invasion. The British 'plan', such as it was, was to land a force at Narvik, and cross northern Sweden in order to aid Finland. Such a plan actually being carried out, without at least the reluctant acquiescence of Norway and Sweden, is rather a bit of a stretch. The British and French actually landing in Norway in force, and fighting Norwegian forces in order to occupy Oslo is even harder to believe. IMHO the British (Churchill in particular) view was that an 'enclave' at Narvik would be something like the landing at Salonika in WWI. Perhaps not entirely 'legal', but far from a full scale invasion / conquest as Germany carried out.

As for 'good guys' (and note the single quotes), I didn't mean to suggest that literally, in a simplistic 'Hollywood' sense. However, the fact is that the 'Allies' (excluding the Soviets ) did act with some restraint. Certainly prior to open / official American entry into the war, differentiating themselves from the Germans was a critical political consideration. If the British / French had early on adopted a 'we can invade anyone we want' attitude, there would have been negative impact in the US (e.g. 'we shouldn't get involved, they all act the same way'). There was already a powerful isolationist influence in the US, and the Allies acting in that way would have made FDR's attempts to assist them pre-Pearl that much more difficult. If one wanted to be more 'realistic', invasions of minor should probably be allowed, albeit at a 'political' cost.
 
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fangotango
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My knowledge is pretty thin, just paraphrasing the General. Thanks for the clarification.

I guess if you want that sort of added realism, Advanced 3R is the way to go. Do some players incorporate any of the A3R ideas into their 3R games?
 
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Vicomte13 13
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Let's go down the list.

Starting with the Axis, Germany or Italy can declare war on any Minor Neutral. Neither can declare war on their Minor Allies (whether activated or not). This is an important point in multi-player games: an Italy which has cut a deal with the Allies to be allowed to live cannot attack Hungary, because Hungary is not a minor NEUTRAL, it's a German Minor Ally.

Britain and France can declare war on any Minor Neutral and on any German Minor Ally as well. But note that if they can't make good on it by at least occupying a hex or carrying out an attack (e.g., Britain declares war on an unactivated Hungary in 1940 - Hungary is out of reach, so the DoW happens, the money is paid, but at the end of the turn Hungary goes back to being neutral,) This is also important in the Multiplayer Game, for the French might make a deal with the Germans to be left alone (France wins a decisive victory if she survives the game - but also the Americans and British can't enter France if France says no, so having France in the game, though technically a foe, if the French are obstreperous and don't let the British and Americans in, Germany is protected from the West from invasion.), If the French make a deal, they could, for example, declare war on Hungary just to activate it for the Germans (with German intervention). The catch is that if the French can't GET TO Hungary to make an attack or occupy a hex, then the French DoW is cancelled and Hungary reverts to being neutral. Sorry Charlie.

Note that Poland is NOT neutral at the start of the game. It's part of the Allies, controlled by Britain. So, Britain and France can't declare war on Poland.

The United States can declare war on any Minor Neutral, and any unactivated German Minor Ally. Historically, there weren't many of those by 1942. Only Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Iran remained (and the Lend Lease rule effectively "opens" Iran to moving BRPs through to the USSR without making it Allied territory through conquest.

Note that Turkey will eventually activate as a British Minor Ally if the British meet certain conditions.

There are special rules governing Russia. The USSR can only declare war on bordering minor countries (See Rule 20.54) until she is at war with Germany.

This means that before war with Germany, the USSR can only declare war on Finland and Rumania (and only if they are not garrisoned by a German unit or the Germans haven't kept up their 20 unit Eastern Front garrison), on Turkey, on Persia, on Eastern Europe and on Poland (note that the Soviet DoW on Eastern Europe lets the Russians invade Eastern Poland, but it is not a DoW on Poland as such. To cross that line and take Warsaw, Russia has to declare war on Poland.)

I hope that clears things up for you.
 
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Doug Poskitt
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VIcomte13 wrote:
Let's go down the list.

Starting with the Axis, Germany or Italy can declare war on any Minor Neutral. Neither can declare war on their Minor Allies (whether activated or not). This is an important point in multi-player games: an Italy which has cut a deal with the Allies to be allowed to live cannot attack Hungary, because Hungary is not a minor NEUTRAL, it's a German Minor Ally.


DQB Can Germany/Italy declare war on their own inactive Minor Allies?

A Yes ...

Well, that's got that sorted as far as a German DoW on an inactive Hungary; whether that can be extended to Italy being able to do the same is a discussion point. (For example, if Germany were to give it's permission for Italy to do so; or Italy joins in a German attack on Hungary as a co-operative conquest?)


 
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Vicomte13 13
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dougposkitt wrote:
VIcomte13 wrote:
Let's go down the list.

Starting with the Axis, Germany or Italy can declare war on any Minor Neutral. Neither can declare war on their Minor Allies (whether activated or not). This is an important point in multi-player games: an Italy which has cut a deal with the Allies to be allowed to live cannot attack Hungary, because Hungary is not a minor NEUTRAL, it's a German Minor Ally.


DQB Can Germany/Italy declare war on their own inactive Minor Allies?

A Yes ...

Well, that's got that sorted as far as a German DoW on an inactive Hungary; whether that can be extended to Italy being able to do the same is a discussion point. (For example, if Germany were to give it's permission for Italy to do so; or Italy joins in a German attack on Hungary as a co-operative conquest?)



What is DQB?

That's a very strange rule interpretation. I should like to see the source and the rule it references.

Especially considering the rule that if the Axis attacks Spain, its prestige for attacking a fellow Fascist country means the other minors don't activate other than on a roll of 6, it would logically follow that, if Germany or Italy are allowed to attack any Axis Minor Allies, the same thing would apply.

I can't get past the fact that those countries are designated as inactive minor ALLIES. In a multi-player game, Italy and Germany are prohibited from attacking each other, as are Britain, France, Russia and USA are, because they are Allies by definition.

So, who or what is DQB, and on what rule does DQB rely to make this ruling?

It seems like a pathological ruling, and contrary to at least two other major features of the rules (eventual Allies cannot attack each other, even when one is still neutral (e.g. Britain versus a still-neutral USSR is prohibited) and an attack on Spain makes it very hard to activate any other allies.)
 
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Doug Poskitt
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Hi,

DQB stands for Definitive Question Box (Q&A), and in this case was printed in The Gamers Guide to Third Reich, published by Avalon Hill.

If you browse the file section of Third Reich on BGG, you will see that one of the learned folk here has taken the time to insert the relevant DQBs into the 4th Edition Third Reich rules.

Moreover, if you peruse issues of The General, you will see that several articles (post 4th Ed rules) make a DoW on their inactive Minor Allies part of overall Axis strategy.

As for it being a pathological ruling, one might say that about the leadership of the two major powers to which it applies . Granted, there are adverse effects if the Axis DoW on Spain - but Spain was in many eyes the third leading fascist power in Europe in the time frame this game covers. An Axis DoW/invasion of Spain in World war II would have been big news; Hitler deciding to roll over, say, Bulgaria, would not have been a contender for comparison I would say.

Anyhow, it is clearly allowed for Germany to DoW on Hungary, for example. As this is included in the Gamer's Guide and as Don Greenwood says in the publication, all the DQBs are the authoritative last word (at least up to the time of its printing) most players I have played with use the DQBs in this manner ... pathological or not.



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Vicomte13 13
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dougposkitt wrote:
Hi,

DQB stands for Definitive Question Box (Q&A), and in this case was printed in The Gamers Guide to Third Reich, published by Avalon Hill.

If you browse the file section of Third Reich on BGG, you will see that one of the learned folk here has taken the time to insert the relevant DQBs into the 4th Edition Third Reich rules.

Moreover, if you peruse issues of The General, you will see that several articles (post 4th Ed rules) make a DoW on their inactive Minor Allies part of overall Axis strategy.

As for it being a pathological ruling, one might say that about the leadership of the two major powers to which it applies . Granted, there are adverse effects if the Axis DoW on Spain - but Spain was in many eyes the third leading fascist power in Europe in the time frame this game covers. An Axis DoW/invasion of Spain in World war II would have been big news; Hitler deciding to roll over, say, Bulgaria, would not have been a contender for comparison I would say.

Anyhow, it is clearly allowed for Germany to DoW on Hungary, for example. As this is included in the Gamer's Guide and as Don Greenwood says in the publication, all the DQBs are the authoritative last word (at least up to the time of its printing) most players I have played with use the DQBs in this manner ... pathological or not.



Thanks for the tip, and for telling me where I can find this DQB. I will go read it carefully before I answer any more questions. I agree that if AH published it in the General, it's authoritative.
 
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